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Sunday, 10 April 2016

"My Beloved is mine, and I am His"

A recent newspaper article concerned the claim by someone, who claimed to be an "atheist" (although no such being actually exists!), that death is the end - because he had "died" on two separate occasions, and experienced "... just black emptiness. No thoughts, no consciousness, nothing." 

His first ‘death’ came as a result of a motorcycle accident where he claims to have "died" for two minutes because  “... my body shut down from the pain and physical damages on my body. No pulse, no breathing and no consciousness”.  Regarding the second occasion, he wrote: “I was in agonising pain after surgery so I received loads of pain killers. The pain, coupled with an immense amount of pain killers, caused my pulse to drop to around 10bpm and my respiratory system shut down.”

Now, apart from the obvious fact that, in neither case has he provided any evidence that he was pronounced to be clinically "dead" (and one does not need to be medically qualified to realise that even a pulse of 10bpm is evidence of life!) one would wish to comment that he may simply have "experienced" what he wanted to experience!  Mind you, he came up with the interesting comment that: "I experienced something, and that something was nothing."!!

How different the situation for the disciple of Jesus, the Christ!  Such a one may have the confidence that (s)he has already passed from death unto life!  This is not a conclusion based on introspection, or mystic feelings of supernatural elation, but on the sure and unshakable Word of God.  John records the words of the Lord Jesus: "Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes [has total trust in Jesus] has eternal life." (John 6:47) - and note the present tense that I have emphasised!  This is not "pie in the sky when you die", but a new life "in all its fulness" (Jn.10:10) lived out in the here and now!

The great 19th century preacher, C.H.Spurgeon told the true story of some disciples of Jesus who had tried to teach Biblical truth to a young boy whose brain was damaged.  They worked hard, and did what they could, but it was a tiring task.  The child had little intelligence but, having spent many hours seeking to instruct him in the great doctrines (teachings) of the Christian faith, one of them asked: "John, do you have a soul?"  The response caused a twinge of disappointment - "No, I have no soul."  However, dismay was quickly turned to great joy as the lad continued: "I used to have a soul, but I lost it, and Jesus Christ found it, and I always let Him keep it.  So, it is now His, and not mine!"

That lad, in spite of the apparent handicap that he carried, had grasped a wonderful truth - one shared by Paul when he wrote "... I know Whom I have believed, and I am totally convinced that He is able to guard until that Day what I have entrusted to Him." (I Tim.1:12).

What a difference it would make for many of us if we were to stop analysing our feelings to see if we are saved and, instead, simply rest on the solid assurance of the Word of God!  That Word reveals, very clearly, that His undying love remains "sure and steadfast" (Heb.6:19) for all who come to Him, "the new and living Way" (Heb.10:20), seeking His eternal forgiveness - and knowing that, as they come in sincerity, and with repentant hearts, they will not be rejected (see John 6:37).

There is a lovely song that I used to sing, that may well have been inspired by the words of Solomon that I have used as a heading to this post (Song of Solomon 2:16):

"Loved with everlasting love,
Led by grace that love to know;
Spirit, breathing from above,
Thou hast taught me it is so.
Oh, this full and perfect peace!
Oh, this transport all divine!
In a love which cannot cease,
I am His, and He is mine.

Heaven above is softer blue,
Earth around is sweeter green;
Something lives in every hue
Christless eyes have never seen:
Birds with gladder songs o’erflow,
Flow’rs with deeper beauties shine,
Since I know, as now I know,
I am His, and He is mine.

Things that once were wild alarms
Cannot now disturb my rest;
Closed in everlasting arms,
Pillowed on the loving breast.
Oh, to lie forever here,
Doubt and care and self resign,
While He whispers in my ear,
I am His, and He is mine.

His forever, only His:
Who the Lord and me shall part?
Ah, with what a rest of bliss
Christ can fill the loving heart.
Heaven and earth may fade and flee,
Firstborn light in gloom decline;
But, while God and I shall be,
I am His, and He is mine."

"I am His, and He is mine".  Are you able to make that statement today - with real conviction?  If not, may I commend my Saviour to you?  He will do a work in your life that will never cease to surprise you - even 'though it costs!

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